The value of Fiber Internet

When someone goes house-hunting, they have their needs, their wants, and their deal-breakers. In addition to good schools, low crime and a nice location, high-speed internet service, is becoming more of a need than a want.

Cities and towns across the country are beginning to see next generation internet access as a necessity, citing its impact on property values, rents, and overall economic health.

Take Provo, Utah, for instance. With the introduction of gigabit internet (provided by Google Fiber), residents are seeing faster internet, more reliable service, and increased home values. The median price of a home in Provo in 2014 was $182,750, an increase of over 15% in 2011 when homes were selling for a median price of $158,950.

Ashley Jensen, a successful real estate agent in Provo, has seen a lot of positive changes in her city the last few years, including a complete renovation of the city’s downtown area and many new businesses. Since 2011, the number of homes sold in Provo have increased by 26%. Ms. Jensen attributes this to new mayor, John Curtis and the business boom brought on in part by better connectivity.

In addition to increased home value, a study by the FTTH council suggests that gigabit internet may have a positive impact in other areas such as a decrease in unemployment, improving medical technology and creating new education applications.

Studies have shown that students with broadband at home study more, watch less television, and improve their grades. With fiber internet, teachers and lecturers could simulcast their lessons to a classroom across town – or across the country. With the advent of 3D broadcasting, imagine if students could inspect a visualizations of the planets orbiting the sun in the solar system, projected right out into their classroom.

Jensen says she has seen an influx of Silicon Valley transplants to the area, and believes they are choosing to live in Provo because of the city’s innovative spirit and desire to provide the right tools and resources for success to it’s residents and businesses.

Download a copy of the study here.

Home security in a gigafied home.

While traditional copper-wired security systems are still common, new technology is opening the doors for exciting new ways to monitor your home. With a reliable fiber internet connection and some additional hardware, software and ingenuity, you can give your home Fort Knox-like protection.

Here are ways you can enhance security in a gigafied home:

Home security systems: If you’re looking for an inexpensive and effective home monitoring system, consider an internet based solution. Many of the available options allow you to monitor your home or business from connected device (computer, smartphone, tablet). Set up alerts sent straight to your phone. Have your alarm system recognize sudden motion, drastic changes in temperature or lights being turned on when you’re away. Some innovative manufacturers in this field include Connectsense and Smartthings .

Video surveillance straight to “the cloud”: With companies like Dropcam offering easy and affordable solutions for mobile viewing and cloud storage of your security footage, why wouldn’t you take advantage of the cloud’s functionality? The cloud is a database of virtual servers on the internet. Some perks include being able to access your footage from anywhere in the world, being sure that your data is securely stored via encryption, and being alerted in real-time when something needs your attention. Other companies offering similar services include CameraFTP and iVideoN

Smoke detection: If you follow trends in home technology, you have undoubtedly heard about NEST thermostat. Now the minds from NEST Labs have tackled another security device, the smoke alarm. NEST Protect will alert you of any smoke emergency by voice! It will also display various colors depending on the severity of the emergency, varying from yellow to red. If you’re not home, NEST protect will alert you via text so you can take action. Brickhouse Security  offers similar products.

Smart doorbells:  Wi-Fi enabled doorbells allow you to answer the door and monitor outside activity from anywhere in the world using your smartphone. It’s a convenient way to monitor and secure your home at any time of day with features such as motion detectors and night vision. You can even check to see if deliveries have been left at your front door. Using high-speed internet, the doorbell will place a call to your cell phone and let you talk to whoever is at the door. Watch your neighbor stand awkwardly outside while you decide if they get to come in or not. RING and Skybell are both leading companies in this space. 

There are many great products on the market which will make monitoring and securing your home easier and more affordable. As tech-enthusiasts, we can’t help but feel optimistic about the future of home security automation.

Race lowers pricing on “Gigafy Me” plan.

In an effort to help the United States catch up to the world’s internet bandwidth leaders, Race has announced a major restructuring of it’s internet plans.

Race is dropping all but two internet plans, and has dropped the price on the company’s symmetrical 1000 Mbps plan to $60-a-month, bringing it to a lower price point than the two slower plans — an $85/month 250 Mbps and a $65/month 100 Mbps — the company has now dropped.

Race will continue to offer a budget friendly plan called Basic Broadband+ that meets (and exceeds) the new minimum for broadband as ruled by the FCC, with 25mbps download and upload speeds. BB+ is $25/month.

Bandwidth is not the commodity that many cable and DSL providers make it out to be. Companies sell bandwidth over their aging infrastructure as though it is a limited, non-renewable resource, and it is keeping Americans behind in terms of innovative technology, while making large profits for internet and cable providers. 

Improving U.S. broadband speed and penetration is important to Race, and the company hopes to see positive changes and economic growth in it’s service areas by establishing a new service model that allows for true high-speed internet to be the norm, making it easier to use broadband to help solve many of today’s big challenges, such as developing higher quality education and healthcare.